The worst misconceptions about atheists.

1) Atheists only want to destroy religion.

I can’t count how many times I’ve seen/heard this accusation. Atheists don’t WANT to destroy religion. Aside from a few atheists who are atheists just because and haven’t really done any amount of research beyond what is typical, most of us are atheists because we looked at religion, we looked at science, and we realize that what science can shows us conflicts with what religion simply preaches. We care more about truth than anything, and religions tell us things that directly conflict with scientific truths. We aren’t aiming to ‘destroy’ religion, but if we have to debunk some of that stuff on our path to find honest answers, then that’s what happens. If religion didn’t conflict with scientific teachings or logical observations, then there would be no atheists – but it does, so there are. We aren’t non-believers because we’re angry at you or a God we don’t even believe in, we are non-believers because we want the truth, we are curious creatures, we thirst for knowledge, and there’s more than enough reason to think that theists are wrong in their assumptions about the universe.

2) Atheists only look to science to define their world views.

Science is the beginning. It shows us why theological teachings and myths are wrong or even impossible. It presents evidence and theories, such as the big bang theory or evolutionary theory, that directly conflict with what religion says happened. But that’s the end of it. We don’t look to science to define our morals. We don’t look to science to find meaning in our lives. There are other things that embody us than just science, science is just the foundation. (If you want to get into a discussion about morality outside of religion, I’ve made several posts on the topic which are more suited to that.)

3) Atheists aren’t moral.

Again, I have a post on this in more depth, but I’d like to say simply why this is illogical. Does having religious views make any one person moral? No, there are priests that molest children, religious institutes which have been responsible for the Crusades and the Inquisition. Having a religion does not automatically make your moral any more than not having one would automatically make you immoral. Just because my moral actions don’t go up on some holy score board that determines whether I go to heaven or hell, does not mean that I am incapable of wanting to be moral.

 

4) Atheists are unhappy, and they want you to be, too.

I actually thought this once, when I was a Christian and too indoctrinated to realize that this was just one of those things circulated by the religious population who fail to acknowledge that they are not on some level above atheists, they are not better than them, they are not more human than them. What I felt that I once labeled as faith – that feeling is still inside of me, but I call it something else. It’s more of an appreciation for life, an amazement at the beauty around me, and my hopes for humanity to grow and learn. I appreciate my life more now because more likely than not, it’s all I have. My time is precious so I spend it doing more things that are worthwhile, that help the world and also that benefit me and the people I love. I am much happier now than I ever was as a believer.

5) Atheists’ lives are meaningless.

You only perceive your life as having meaning through God, and you think that without God the meaning would be taken away. So I’m going to tackle this from a different perspective here: say there’s a Christian man who lives his life not really rubbing elbows with anyone but also doing absolutely nothing to contribute to society, had little friends or family, and ultimately did not do much living – how is it reasonable to say that his life had more meaning than say, an atheist who made great scientific discoveries, who was charitable, who had loving family and friends? How is it right to say that, so long as you believe in God, your life will have meaning regardless of what you do with it? Life, LIVING, is about just that – living. How meaningful your life is has to do with what you do with it. People say this without contemplating that what they’re REALLY saying is that atheists view their death as meaningless, which is true, since we don’t believe in an afterlife. But as far as our lives go, it’s up to us what we do with them. Simply believing in a god or not believing doesn’t necessarily determine what you do with your time here, whether or not that time will have a positive or negative impact upon others, or what you make it mean.

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About thatcatkatie
I came to this site to discuss my beliefs, and yours too, and hopefully learn some things from my fellow human beings.

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